I was lucky enough to be the oldest grandchild to a pair of very holiday driven folks. Any holiday meant a time for a celebration, but Christmas's with Grandma & Grandpa were simply extraordinary. While my memories of Christmas's past are too numerous to blog, my favorite memory from each and every year is my holiday ornament. You see, back in 1971, when I was just a few months old, my grandparents began commemorating the season with an ornament, scribed with the year and the same message - "Love, G'Pa and G'Ma". Some years, the ornaments seemed to magically appear, despite the mounds of wadded wrapping paper blocking the Christmas tree. The styles and themes surely changed, and each season, this token of love was a stronger reflection of who I was that year. My first few ornaments were plastic, child-like creations, such as pink rocking horses and the infamous 70's-gold gingerbread house. Each year, as I grew and numerous younger cousins followed, my ornament would be found on a higher spot on the tree, which simply added to my delight. In 1992, when I left college and moved to Wisconsin, the message was "With Love From Our Home to Yours".
During those years, a few different boyfriends had ventured in and out of my life. Each one, having made and survived the 4 hour trek south for a holiday gathering with my family. Each walked away with their consolation prize - an ornament of their very own. So far, my ornaments have run the gamut of themes - love, marriage, first homes, and, of course, my beloved dog Cookie. The message on the back has sadly changed a bit over the years, as my precious keepsakes now only read "Love, Grandma". This year, I'll be adding ornament number 35 to my tree, and while I may not be thrilled about the number, one thing remains certain, on Christmas Eve, my childlike excitement will be hard to contain, as I search for my next holiday ornament. I can hardly wait to spy this year's token of love!
~Michele S., Madison, WI